Vladimir Putin said the US and Russia have agreed to meet in January in Geneva for security talks that are expected to include Ukraine.
In statements aired on Russian state television on Sunday, President Putin said that he would consider a range of options if the United States and its allies failed to meet his demands for security guarantees precluding NATO's expansion to Ukraine. This is according to a report by the Associated Press.
Tensions have been mounting in the region amid a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine in recent weeks, fueling fears of a possible invasion. Russia has denied plans of an invasion.
Earlier this month, Moscow put forward security proposals including that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back its military presence in Central and Eastern Europe. The US and its allies have so far refused to offer Russia such a guarantee on Ukraine, citing NATO’s principle that membership is open to any qualifying country.
The two countries have agreed, however, to launch security talks to discuss concerns. The AP reported on Sunday that according to Putin, the US has agreed to conduct these talks in Geneva in January. In parallel, negotiations are also set to be held between Russia and NATO as well as wider discussions on the banner of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
According to a on December 23, the US is prepared to hold talks with Russia but no specific date or location had been set.
US and Russia have been holding a serious of talks in Geneva over the past several months following a high-level summit between US President Biden and Russian President Putin in June, also in Geneva. The talks have been an attempt to resolve various differences on issues ranging from nuclear weapons to cyberspace.
In an interviewExternal link in the German-lanugage paper Tages-Anzeiger on Saturday, outgoing Swiss president Guy Parmelin said that the high-level summit was a decisive event in his presidency. “It was a great success and an important event for Switzerland. It confirmed my assessment that Switzerland can and must play an important role internationally”.
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